You Fought for Us

Now Let Us Fight for You

How Will the Coronavirus Affect my Disability Claim?

Published on April 10th, 2020

With more and more of the country experiencing shelter in place orders due to the coronavirus, you may be wondering what will happen to your veterans disability claim. For now, despite some delays in the process as VA staff adapts to working remotely, the VA, the Board of Veterans’ Appeals (BVA), and the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC) are all continuing to process claims. In the meantime, the VA is still paying out benefits, and you are still able to submit claims, appeals, and new evidence by mail or fax.

At Jackson & MacNichol, our lawyers and support staff are continuing to work on behalf of America’s veterans during the COVID-19 outbreak. If you are considering whether to file an appeal of your disability compensation case, you should still do so as soon as possible to make sure you meet the deadlines and secure the earliest possible effective date for your condition, which should give you access to more back pay. For a free consultation about your options, call us today at 1(800) 524-3339.

The VA Disability Claims and Appeals Process Will Continue During the Pandemic

Each VA regional office is handling the coronavirus crisis differently. But across the country, most offices have already directed all their veterans benefits personnel to work remotely. The VA ratings staff and decision review officers are still issuing decisions, both on new cases and cases in backlog. Decision review officers continue to conducting informal conferences or hearings by telephone.

Social distancing requirements have many veterans asking whether their C&P exams will get canceled. Some regional offices have been canceling C&P exams and sending notices to claimants. If you have not yet been notified that your scheduled C&P exam has been canceled, you should expect to be. It is advisable that you call your regional office and see if your C&P exam can be done remotely. Unfortunately, if you need an in-person examination, this will result in a delay in your claim since the VA is currently only doing virtual C&P exams using the telehealth system.

The Board of Veterans Appeals has canceled all in-person hearings until May 1. In their place, they are offering virtual hearings. The transition will likely create a bottleneck, so if you are waiting for a hearing with the BVA, your case may experience some delays. However, at Jackson & MacNichol we are doing a number of virtual hearings over the Internet to expedite our clients’ claims. As with the VA, most of the BVA staff that handles disability claims is working remotely, and they will continue to hold virtual hearings and issue decisions.

As of March 18, the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims has canceled all oral arguments scheduled up to April 20. For cases scheduled after April 21, the court is planning to conduct hearings via video over the internet. Except for the few cases set for oral argument, the court will continue to issue decisions normally since most of its staff is working remotely during the outbreak.

Talk to a Veterans Benefits Lawyer About the Appeals Process

In coming weeks, the VA, BVA, and CAVC will be more willing to issue extensions for filing deadlines. But this doesn’t mean these extensions are granted automatically. You or your lawyer will need to formally request an extension with some justification, although the COVID-19 outbreak is likely going to be a good reason to grant an extension in most cases. Whether your appeal is already in the pipeline, or you have just received a ratings decision that you disagree with, call Jackson & MacNichol today at 1(800) 524-3339 for a free consultation.


Back to News
Monthly
disability benefits
Learn More
Total disability based
on individual unemployability (TDIU)
Learn More
Veterans
disability compensation
Learn More

Contact Us Today!   Call toll free (800) 524-3339 or

Get started!